Bottom Drawer is proud to announce the release of Cutting Out
by Meredith Shayne, a contemporary mm romance based
in New Zealand.
A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he's made for himself in New Zealand. If he's a little lonely, he's got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he's content to look but not touch, knowing the man is out of his league.
Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.
As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.
THE SANDWICHES had settled by the time Shane’s class—the senior class, for shearers who could shear a lot of sheep in a short amount of time, not shearers who were getting on a bit, like the younger shearers loved to say—was scheduled to compete. He shook the hand of the rouseabout who had the job of collecting the fleece from his sheep during the event, then stepped up onto the stage to get ready. Completely focussed once the bell rang, the cheers and whoops of the crowd became a distant hum as his world narrowed to the noise of his clippers, the feel of the lanolin-coated wool under his hands, the weight of the animal against his legs. Shane didn’t look up or out, or even to the side until he pushed the last sheep down the chute and straightened his aching back to shut off his machine. He’d won by the skin of his teeth, the shearer beside him pulling his own cord seconds after Shane did. It would come down to penalties then, but Shane wasn’t worried. He hadn’t drawn blood, so he’d be pretty safe. And he didn’t enter competitions to win—although the prize money was great—he entered them to keep himself sharp, to force himself to keep his time up.
He looked out over the crowd as they cheered, grinning at Maaka, who gave him a thumbs up. To Maaka’s left, the young man he’d noticed from before—Lachlan—sat perched on the edge of the stage where the prizes were awarded, drinking a beer. Watching him. Shane’s heart skipped a beat when their eyes met, and Lachlan smirked, lifting his beer bottle in salute. Shane’s stomach dropped, but he nodded at him, acknowledging the salute, only looking away when a judge tapped him on the shoulder and directed him off the board.
LACHIE DRANK his beer and chuckled to himself as he watched the shearers in the senior division mingle by the side of the board. He often watched the senior division when he competed, because the more tips he picked up from watching it, the sooner he’d be able to compete in it. Some senior competitions were better than others, but this one had been a great one. The winner—the announcer had said his name was Shane Cooper—had been amazing. There might have been only a moment between him and second place, but the runner up had looked like he was going to keel over when he was done. Shane had looked like that had just been a warm up. A starter before his main course. It had been impressive. Speaking of dishes . . . he definitely was one. So masculine, a real man, greying in that distinguished, silver fox way that was fucking hot, especially with the way it made his light-blue eyes stand out against his hair.
Shane had his back to him as he accepted congratulations from his fellow competitors, giving Lachie the perfect opportunity to ogle his arse. He had a compact build—like Lachie—standing a couple of inches under six feet, and was wiry with it, the nicely defined muscles of his arms and chest stopping him from being skinny. His smile made his eyes shine, and Lachie’s mouth go dry. If more of the South Island shearers were as hot as that one, maybe he’d be keener on working down there. He watched as the man approached Maaka. Sweet. Maaka could introduce them. He drained his beer and gathered himself to jump off the stage; before he could move, something slapped him on the back of the head.
“Ow!” he said, wincing as his mate Clint sat down beside him.
“Harden up, bro,” Clint said, handing him another beer bottle and opening the other one he held by twisting it against the flesh of his forearm. Taking a long pull, Clint burped, long and loud, then snickered and said, “Up for a party tonight?”
“Yep.” Lachie nodded and put down his existing beer before opening the other. “Can’t stay up too late though, flying to Christchurch tomorrow.”
“Visit to the whanau?”
Lachie nodded again. “Yep. Haven’t seen them for a while, thought I might as well before I start another job.” He chugged half his beer in one go. “I’ll stay for a few days, then join another run.”
Clint nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”
“It does, doesn’t it.” Lachie watched as the hot shearer with Maaka laughed, his spine tingling at the way the man’s eyes shone. “Come on, let’s get something to eat.” He slapped the stage with one hand. “If I’ve got to stand up on this thing and have my photo taken, I better have something to soak up the alcohol.”
Cutting Out is available for $5.99 in our digital shop (BDP) and
all online booksellers listed below. More to come soon.
The paperback will be available soon.